Chamberlain/Moses; Ferlinghetti

John Chamberlain & Ed Moses/L.A. Louver
Lawrence Ferlinghetti/William Turner Gallery

John Chamberlain
Lovenest Over the Body Shop
painted and chromium-plated steel
83 x 37 x 48"

John Chamberlain treats painted and chrome-plated steel like paper. It's an amazing technique, almost incredibly dapper. You can see it most tremendously applied in The Big One (1993), where the metal chromatisms are wrought like papier-mâché or wet rags, producing an effect of concentrated wit and subtlety to match Beverly Pepper's droll conundrums. The range can be seen in two new works of similar scale, Trollop Trombone Concert and Virgin (2001), where a tantalizing color variation and a comical application figure the theses satirically; the masterpiece is Lovenest over the Body Shop (1992), which vibrates the whole palette.

Ed Moses is a cunning painter, and the simple elements of this batch from 2001 combine to make obstinate pictures in slabs of copper, gold, silver, black and rust on raw backgrounds, with the magpie in him echoing Kline and Francis, often picking up a note from Herbert Creecy's Shaking Shanty paintings, planes of obscuring color building up masses on a neutral or recessive background, with play of gloss and matte.

Ed Moses
acrylic on canvas
96 x 120"

Upstairs are three great works by Ed & Nancy Kienholz: Drawing for the Jesus Come (1982-83) and Drawing from Angel (1990), the former an open Cornell box and the latter a 3-D presentation piece; Drawing for the Hoerengracht No. 11 (1987) is another Cornell box with a hand to open it and a light on it. Joe Goode's large oil, See No Evil (2000), is not a study of clouds but cloud representations, and from a distance has a nice Tiepolo effect. Peter Shelton's tall bronze blackmonkey (1999-2000) is an elongated abstract nude form, and John McCracken's Untitled (1982) is a plank of pure red leaning against a wall.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti puts paint together on canvas to achieve a picture effect, with a simple idea that stands for the image (Liberty #1, 1992-1999), or replaces it with a monogram (Hypocrite Post Modern, Pass By!, 1995). This is altogether what Arnold Schoenberg's pictures must be like, the work of a spare-timer who knows the business.